I’ve always dreamed of seeing the Walt Disney Animation Studios building in California. Just see it. Never in a million years did I even imagine that one day I’d actually have the opportunity to go *inside*…. but a few weeks ago that amazing dream came true!
During my trip to Los Angeles for the Oz The Great and Powerful premiere, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the making of Wreck-It Ralph – from the actual animators and team behind the movie! (Hello, Disney bucket list!)
Our first stop of the day was learning about the storyboard process and early stages of creating the story. Raymond Persi took us through the process of creating the story of Wreck-It Ralph and Fix-It Felix using simple black and white images in its raw form. Fun fact: In the early stages, there was another “game” called ‘Easy Living 2″ featured in the movie.
This was probably my favorite part of our behind the scenes tour. Animators Mike Gabriel and Bill Schwab showed us the different versions of Ralph throughout the creative process. It was fascinating to see the actual artwork of what animators imagined him being and how he eventually transformed into the character he is today. Seeing the very first sketch of Ralph was really quite special.
The best way to describe rigging is to think of a character in it’s skeleton form. The design team and “riggers” work together in building the body of the characters allowing them to move, bend and become lifelike on the screen. We were able to get some hands-on computer experience and make Ralph move on our own – I made my Ralph “walk like an Egyptian”, or at least I tried. Here’s a quick video I took with my phone –
I wrote about the Wreck-It Ralph Capture Stage a few weeks ago – it’s a lot to grasp, but the camerawork involved in creating an animated film is unbelievable. What looks like an empty room is actually a full soundstage surrounded with television screens and mini cameras!
If you want to find someone passionate about their work, look no further than Disney animator Amy Smeed. She took us through her creative process in creating certain scenes (one of hers was Vanellope’s line of “Enjoy your tantrum, diaper baby?” with Ralph). I loved that she actually records video of herself reciting the lines to examine her own facial features and how it should play into a character. So much of what she does involves body mechanics – that’s truly what brings these characters to life.
Seeing the process it takes to make a film was truly fascinating. I’ve always had a love for Disney films, but after my day at the Animation Studios, I have an even greater love for their work.
The folks we met were filled with passion, love and a strong desire to create great movies – and they’ve done just that… and more!
For The Latest Wreck-It Ralph News
Also, for the latest news, check out www.disney.go.com/wreck-it-
Wreck-It Ralph is now available via digital download and on Blu-ray DVD Combo Packs available on March 5th.
** Walt Disney Pictures invited me on this all-expenses paid trip as their guest . Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own and not influenced by others. **